23rd Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
Ji.hlava for the twenty-third time: minding our ecological footprint!
Visual artist Juraj Horváth, the author of the festival poster that was officially unveiled today, always writes a short poem accompanying the visual design. This year, one of the poem’s lines depicts a “planet glowing red-hot”. Marek Hovorka, the Director of the Ji.hlava IDFF adds: “So far, the festival has mainly followed the line of thoughts and filmic expressions. This time, we are adding a third aspect: the environmental footprint.”
This year’s visual concept of the festival is specific for its two-colour register and distinct drawings. “We wanted Ji.hlava to become more playful. Our graphic artist, Juraj Horváth, plans to scatter the festival printed materials with his drawings, and the poster visual is only one of them,” says Marek Hovorka explaining the graphic design. Hovorka adds: “Although surrounded by apocalyptic news, our outlook into the future is slightly optimistic. We believe that if we, as a mankind, behave responsibly, we will handle the situation.”
Environmental concerns will be the main theme of this year’s Ji.hlava IDFF. “We have always tried to keep the environment in mind. But we realised that our environment-friendly attitude has been rather patchy. We want to be consistent and plan our next steps based on the latest findings. We are trying to find savings within our system and perhaps be an inspiration to others,” says Hovorka.
The 23rd Ji.hlava IDFF will therefore introduce the environmental ombudsman who will “serve as a direct contact between the festival and the visitors: and introduce Ji.hlava’s environmental practices to the public. He or she will also collect comments and suggestions. This is a long-term commitment, not a one-off activity. Some things will not change immediately, but we want to adopt a more consistent environmental attitude that would become a natural and commonplace part of our festival.” What does it mean in practice? No single-use plastic, encouraging festival guests to use public transportation over cars, prioritising direct flights and much more.
Inspiration Forum: China and climate change
This year’s Ji.hlava will for the second time offer an extended version of the Inspiration Forum. The Forum’s events will take place throughout the whole festival week, encompassing six burning social topics, and hosting dozens of experts from across the globe. Programmer Tereza Swadoschová explains this year’s programme concept: “This year, the Forum will have a futurologist concept. We have identified social issues that have a global impact, and, at the same time, concern every single one of us. The focus will be on topics such as the Chinese current influence on world politics and economy, or the condition of the western democracy.”
The Inspiration Forum will also resonate with Ji.hlava’s environmental focus: “We will dedicate one whole day to the issue of climate change. Many experts warn that we are slow in curbing global emissions and the reduction is definitely not fast enough to avert the upcoming planetary crisis,” continues Tereza Swadoschová, and she concludes: “The purpose of the Forum is to spark an intensive dialogue. Instead of merely analysing the problems, we want to try and find solutions and to inspire others to take an active stance in their everyday life, and as politically engaged citizens.”
Out in the streets
This year’s Ji.hlava is introducing another new feature. After ten years, the architectural concept now has new authors - architects Jiří Mašek, Miroslav Kukrál and Lukáš Výtisk. “We are very thankful for our decade-long collaboration with Josef Čančík and Vít Šimek whose installations for the Ji.hlava IDFF even made it into the prestigious Czech architecture almanac,” says Iveta Černá on behalf of the Ji.hlava team and she continues: “This year, we were searching for a concept that would be creative, sustainable and at the same time offering a comfortable solution for the visitors both in the screening halls and in the public city space.”
The winning concept works with the idea of a temporary square set up in front of DKO, in reaction to the original urbanist concept created by the Machonins. “We simply want to transform the unwelcoming space of the current car park into a place where people will be happy to meet,” points out Iveta Černá. This concept applies to the entire Ji.hlava IDFF.
The twenty-third edition of the Ji.hlava IDFF will showcase documentary films in eight screening halls. Children aged three to fourteen can look forward to a rich programme prepared as part of the “Ji.hlava for Kids” section.